BPHS students conducting cutting-edge scientific research

The average size of a five-year-old walleye in New York state is more than 18 inches long. But the average size of a walleye the same age in the Great Sacandaga Lake is only 15 inches. The “short” walleye appear to be more of the norm than the exception, leading to the question: Why? Students in the science research course at Broadalbin-Perth Jr./Sr. High School are using scientific data to find the answer.

Students are looking to find possible reasons why the walleye are not growing very fast and why many fishermen are not necessarily catching legal walleye, which is defined by New York state as a minimum of 15 inches in length. Their hypotheses include overfishing, environmental factors, a deficient trophic state, limited biomass, and sparse forage resources. The class has access to two pontoon boats, Patriot 1 and Patriot 2, that the district obtained through grants and fundraising, to collect data on the lake.